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On The Beach “Someday” with Iggy Pop

The first time I saw Iggy Pop preform was at the Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence Kansas sometime around 1980. What I remember from that show was Iggy’s intensity and his I don’t give a damn about anything attitude.

Fast forward 40 years and we now have the godfather of punk rock narrating a two-minute monologue on what 2020 brought to us and what we have to look forward to. Iggy’s distinctive gravelly voice overlays a scene of people running along the beach looking forward to brighter, better days ahead. The monologue relives all of the insanity that surrounded everything in 2020. Stockpiling toilet paper, washing your hand 100 times a day, working from home, remember to wear your mask, giving up eating out, and on and on. Iggy ends it on a lighter note though reminding us that the beach will be ready and waiting when we are all able to take that much needed vacation again.

“We got angry, we got sad, we cried. But we picked ourselves up and we started again, knowing that the sun is always shining somewhere,” he says. “At some point someday you’ll be on your dream holiday, thinking ‘Is it too early for a drink?’” 

The spot is set to an orchestral interlude from the track Sunday, off of Iggy’s latest album Post-Pop Depression. Directed by Uncommon Creative’s executive creative director Sam Walker with Pulse Films it first aired on ITV’s Britan’s Got Talent and will run through February. In addition to the spot, there are the obligatory social media campaigns and a partnership with Amazon Prime.

“This will pass. Sometimes it takes the perspective of someone who has seen a lot in their life to make you realize that. Your shoulders drop, and hope returns,” Iggy says as the spot opens. A statement that Iggy can attest to because he’s seen more than his fair share thanks to 50 plus years of his rock and roll lifestyle.

“Never mind the worst week of someone’s life, what about a year in the life of the UK? We wanted to say it like it is, so we needed a voice that has seen it all. Two minutes in Iggy’s company can make anyone feel better, hopefully, everyone.” Uncommon co-founder Nils Leonard said. And he’s right.

KFC Gaming and the KFConsole is Brilliant Marketing.

Over the last couple of days, the internet and mainstream media have blown up over the new Kentucky Fried Chicken gaming console that dropped earlier this week. People are baffled by it and in many cases are playing it off as an absurd joke. The reality is, that the new gaming console is part of an ongoing campaign that reaches back a full two years. If you head over to YouTube and search for KFC Gaming you will see the first video was published two years back and since then KFC Gaming has produced and released a total of 47 videos over this period of time. In fact, the gaming console was actually introduced on the KFC Gaming channel 6 months ago with a release date of 11/12/2020 which they apparently missed.

This is all part of an ongoing ccampaign strategically designed to attract a younger audience through a series of goofball promotions. If you go back and look at any of the videos over the last two years you will see a very specific theme. There is an entire section featuring a guy wearing a KFC bucket on his head and reviewing video games. KFC has managed to gain 21,000 subscribers to the channel, and the videos have racked up a fair amount of views considering the limited amount of promotion that has been put behind this.

The gaming console however is the big winner here. The video has 294,000 views, and it’s been picked up by everything from the Today show, to very specific gamer blogs and vlogs. KFC and their agency of record have managed to create the kind of viral buzz marketers dream of through some clever positioning, savvy media buys, and by partnering with a manufacturer that has created what appears to be an actual functional gaming console for them. (I’m pretty sure it’s all smoke and mirrors but the landing page is pretty impressive)

Yes, this thing actually plays games. KFC teamed up with computer cooling brand Cooler Master to manufacture the console with some serious gaming specs. The console is capable of running “the latest titles in stunning 4k, 240fps”. With Asus-powered graphics and an Intel Nuc 9 chip, it seems the KFConsole is essentially a glorified gaming PC. Which heats chicken.

In addition to gaming, it features the “worlds-first” built-in chicken chamber “that uses the system’s natural heat and airflow system you can now focus on your gameplay and enjoy hot, crispy chicken between rounds.” Sounds like a game-changer to us.

This is just one more extension of some of the other campaigns that KFC has run in the last few years. Along with the landing page, there is an impressive social media campaign they have rolled out on Twitter Instagram, and Facebook all of which have been designed to promote the brand amongst a very specific target audience. You have to admit, as goofy as this is, it worked. KFC got the word out and generated a lot of chatter which is what good advertising and marketing are supposed to do. KFC knows the ridiculous nature of all of this and is willing to play it up if there is a chance that they might expand their base and get some fried chicken converts in the process.

I would have loved to have been at the pitch meeting for KFC Gaming 2 years back. Can you even imagine how that went down, how they sold this concept to executive management?

AirPods Max “Journey Into Sound”

With the announcement this week from Apple about the new AirPods Max a flurry of new advertisements promoting the hardware has hit the internet and the airwaves. While the headphones are truly a thing of beauty, and probably sound great I won’t be forking over $549.00 dollars to Apple any time soon for a pair. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy all of the eye candy that is popping up.

Case in point, AirPods Max — Journey into Sound from directing duo Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia. The two have put together a spacey, somewhat trippy Spot that shows off the great design of the new AirPods Max while promoting the high tech audio features. The spot is a one minute and thirty-eight-second experience that probably sounds fantastic on the new AirPods max or my surround sound system at home. (I’ll be watching this again tonight on my TV with the sound turned up for sure.) It’s visually stunning as well with some really nice CG effects, editing, and color grading.

The dream like state of the spot feels so fitting for a person getting lost in music while relaxing on the sofa. It is the perfect product/brand positioning for something that is “a perfect balance of exhilarating high-fidelity audio and the effortless magic of AirPods.” according to Apple.

Not Real – Grace

This afternoon I was hanging out on Vimeo looking at a variety of things to get some inspiration for a motion graphics/video project I have in the works, and I happened to stumble upon “Grace Sunset Collection” by Not Real. It’s a really well-done advert featuring some great photography, typography, and 3D animation. What’s better there is a making-of video that shows off some of the behind-the-scenes work that went into putting this together. I always like to include the behind the scenes/making of videos if I can because it shows how much work actually goes into producing something that looks so simple. And that is where the magic is. A complex and involved project that produces a final clip that looks simple.

As you watch this, think about how the animation and edits are timed to the rhythm of the music. It goes together so well, and if you weren’t looking for it you might miss that aspect. The other thing that caught my attention is the easing that is applied to the movement of the type, images and objects. It’s subtle and very lifelike. The fall off is natural, and that is the kind of thing that takes some serious skills, whether you are doing it with After Effects expressions, or using the motion graph.

This is some really nice stuff. Now I’m inspired and its time to get to work.

Directed by: NotReal

Creative Direction: Valeria Moreiro
Executive Production: Roberto Connolly

Art Direction: Valeria Moreiro
Animation Direction: Milton Gonzalez

2D Design: Luján Borzi, Pia Alive, Valeria Moreiro
3D Design: Valeria Moreiro, Alejandra Lan, Luján Borzi

2D Animation: Milton Gonzalez, Joana Cabrera, Roberto Connolly
3D Animation: Milton Gonzalez, Joana Cabrera

Lighting & Shading: Valeria Moreiro
Rendering and Compositing: Milton Gonzalez

Making off: Roberto Connolly

Photography:Cecilia Armand Ugon
Photography Assistant: Ayelén Di Biasi
Styling: Maia Frid
Make up: Julie Doee

Models: Abril Castroman- Lo Management
Layla Ferreira- Pink Models

Year: 2020